Down Among the Sticks and Bones

Author: Seanan McGuire

Read: February and March 2018

This is the second book in the Wayward Children Series. Every Heart A Doorway is the first.

Down Among the Sticks and Bones really just made me love Seanan McGuire more. I loved the first book, but this one, in my opinion, is better. It is so atmospheric. Every Heart A Doorway focuses on the life at the school and our world, along with a few brief descriptions of the other worlds. But Down Among the Sticks and Bones focuses on one world in particular and there is so much more detail and character development. It’s great.

This book is about twin sisters Jack and Jill, who we met in the first book. It tells how they ended up in their world, which turned out to be a sort of Dracula/Frankenstein mixed world. It was very dark and a little creepy. They lived separately from each other while living in their world and it shows the development of their characters while they were allowed to be different people and grow without the other. You see how they turned into the people they are in Every Heart A Doorway. I loved reading their stories and their evolutions. It’s beautiful and sad and I didn’t want the end to come.

The trouble with denying children the freedom to be themselves — with forcing them into an idea of what they should be, not allowing them to choose their own paths — is that all too often, the one drawing the design knows nothing of the desires of their model. Children are not formless clay, to be shaped according to the sculptor’s whim, nor are they blank but identical dolls, waiting to be slipped into the mode that suits them best. Give ten children a toy box, and watch them select ten different toys, regardless of gender or religion or parental expectations. Children have preferences. The danger comes when they, as with any human, are denied those preferences for too long.

Down Among the Sticks and Bones, p. 107

I absolutely love the way Seanan McGuire writes! It is so beautiful and these stories carry so much weight, which is amazing because of how short they are.  The writing is so captivating. The way McGuire writes the characters and everything they go through really draws you in and makes you empathize with both girls. Besides these two books, I have never read anything else by McGuire. I’m looking forward to reading more from this series, but also more from this author.

“All right,” she said, and opened the door, and stepped into a mermaid’s grotto, into a drowned girl’s sanctuary. The walls were tiled in glittering blue and silver, like scales, arching together to form the high, pointed dome of the roof. It was a flower frozen in the moment before it could open; it was a teardrop turned to crystal before it could fall. Little nooks were set into the walls, filled with candles, which cast a dancing light over everything they touched.

Down Among the Sticks and Bones, p. 109

Uggghhhh. It’s just so perfect and beautiful and I love it. I want more!

I definitely recommend these books to everyone! You can read this one or Every Heart A Doorway first since this one is more of a companion novel rather than a sequel.

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